There are many official border crossings between Canada and the United States. Some are comprised of significant inspection plazas and secondary inspection areas while others are a renovated house with only part-time hours. Read on below to find out more about the border crossings themselves as well as information you should know when crossing the border at any point.|
Customs AgenciesAt actual crossings, the Canada Border Services Agency and the United States Customs Service are the agencies with the authority to permit someone or something from entering their respective countries.
Important Canada - U.S. Border CrossingsThe International Boundary Commission is concerned with fixed things on the boundary line or near it, not with movement across it. The transboundary passage of people and goods is within the jurisdiction of the respective national police, customs and immigration authorities. There are about 140 land crossings with customs stations on the undefended border. About 50 of these are relatively obscure such as those on small country roads that wind across open grasslands or through uncleared forests and across the boundary.
Some crossings are noted for tourist traffic such as the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls, which is close to one of the continent's major tourist attractions, and the crossing at Douglas, B.C. - Blaine, Washington, where a special peace arch commemorates the completion of the boundary from coast to coast and the friendship between two nations. Others are important as general crossings with heavy commercial and private traffic. These crossings include the port-of-entries on the Pacific Highway and at Sumas, Washington - Huntingdon, B.C.; Osoyoos, B.C. - Oroville, Washington; Sweetgrass, Montana - Coutts, Alberta; Estevan (North Portal), Saskatchewan - Portal, North Dakota; and Pembina, North Dakota - Emmerson, Manitoba.
Heavy commercial and private traffic rumbles through a tunnel and across a bridge (Ambassador) between Windsor and Detroit. Major bridges also cross the international boundary between Buffalo, New York - Fort Erie, Ontario (Peace Bridge); Sarnia, Ontario - Port Huron, Michigan (Blue Water Bridge); Watertown, New York - Lansdowne, Ontario (Thousand Islands Bridge); Cornwall, Ontario - Rooseveltown, New York (Seaway International Bridge); Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario - Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; and Ogdensburg, New York - Prescott, Ontario.
In Quebec, major border crossings are the Blackpool (Lacolle) - Champlain, New York crossing, south of Montreal, and the Armstrong - Jackman, Maine crossing southeast of Quebec City.
In Maine - New Brunswick, important crossings are Madawaska - Edmunston and Houlton - Woodstock. Then there are those crossings noted for something unusual like the International Peace Gardens located between Bottineau, North Dakota and Brandon, Manitoba and at St. Stephen, New Brunswick - Calais, Maine, where the residents of the communities share a fire brigade.